Imagine you’re in a darkened movie theatre watching a suspense thriller, and the scene you are engrossed in shows a beautiful woman walking alone on a dimly lit, shadowy street. The only sound is the rhythmic noise of her shoes against the pavement.
The camera moves in for a closeup of her feet, revealing black fishnet stockings that disappear into stylish, expensive, red shoes. Then, slowly, the camera zooms out, retreating along the street from where she just came. The sound of her footsteps fades as she recedes into the distance.
A scrap of paper comes into view, tumbling over itself. It continues its lazy somersault through the air encouraged by a gentle breeze, then slides along the street until it is abruptly halted, trapped between the pavement and a man’s muddy boot. Immediately you realize the woman is being stalked.
Suddenly, from the back of the theatre a loud, authoritative voice shouts: “Fire! Get out!”
What would you do? Would you shrug your shoulders and wait for the movie scene to play out, or would you respond to your survival instinct and get out of there as fast as you could?
The answer is obvious. Those three little words would move you to vacate the theatre immediately because they connected with your natural impulse to avoid danger.
That’s the kind of response great copywriting evokes. It uses the right words to reach the audience on an emotional level, then gets them to behave according to the wishes of the writer.
Copywriting is as much technique as it is art, and is perhaps the single most important contributor to a profitable online business.
- It is what separates your Web site’s promotional copy from the competition’s.
- It is the riveting subject line that gets your e-mail opened and read.
- It is the classified and banner advertisement that people click.
- It is the clever business slogan or tag line that everyone associates with you.
Words are powerful tools and can be arranged to impact the reader however you wish. They can be forceful, compelling, subtle, persuasive, instructive or hypnotic. They can lead your reader to a buying decision or turn them away.
When developing promotional copy for your Web site, it helps to include snappy action words, paint pictures, create images and tell stories. Explain how easily your product can solve a user’s problem, or save time, or make the job easier. Highlight your product’s benefits.
Any writing style can work. Your approach can be serious, funny, whimsical or introspective. And you don’t have to be bashful about showing aspects of your personality in your writing. That could help your readers relate to you.
Also, it is always important to write with your reader in mind. Let the nature of your product and the audience you are targeting, guide you on which writing style to use.
If, for example, you were promoting a software application designed to help highly educated college professors manage the dissertations of their doctorate candidates, you could probably elevate your writing style and language to match their academic and intellectual level.
They may find it a turn-on and be more receptive to your message.
On the other hand, if you were trying to interest teenagers in your latest interactive game, your copywriting style should be much more relaxed, informal, and sprinkled with the vocabulary and expressions gamesters use.
Words form the basis of our communication and the way we use them never fails to leave an impression on the reader or listener. That places copywriting high on the list of effective marketing tools currently available.
In today’s bustling Internet marketplace, amidst a world of imitators and look-alikes, all it takes for you and your business to stand out in the alphabetic soup of marketing methods, is a little imagination, courage and the right words. With them, you could literally write your way to wealth.
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